What Happens Before Radiation Therapy Treatment?

What Happens Before Radiation Therapy Treatment?

27 December 2021
Posted By Dr. Aditi Aggarwal
What Happens Before Radiation Therapy Treatment?

If your medical expert and you have decided that radiation therapy is the treatment option for you, you will start with an extended meeting with your doctor to prepare for it. At the time of this meeting, you will also have a physical exam and consult about your medical history, and potentially have done some imaging tests. You and your doctor will also discuss about the external beam radiation therapy, the side effects & the benefits during this particular meeting.

In this blog, you can get aware of the procedure before this radiation therapy, and you will feel better and feel more confident about this treatment.

What happens before this radiation therapy treatment?

Each treatment plan is made as per the patient's disease stage, extent and taking into account other medical history as well. Also, some specific tests may be required before starting this treatment:

Meeting with your radiation oncologist of yours.

The doctor will review your medical record and perform the recommended tests and physical exams. Also, you will learn about some potential risks & the benefits of radiation therapy. This is the actual time to ask some questions or share the concerns you have.

Providing permission for the radiation therapy

If you need radiation therapy, you will have to give an informed consent and sign the form. Signing this particular document means:

  • You give consent to have radiation therapy.
  • You provide the specific permission for your health care professionals to provide the treatment.
  • You understand the radiation planning procedure.
  • Simulating and planning treatment. Your 1st radiation therapy session is the actual simulation. It means this is the practice run without providing radiation therapy. Your expert team will utilise imaging scans to identify the tumour’s location. These also can include:
    1- The computed tomography scans
    2- Magnetic resonance imaging
    3- The x-ray
  • You understand the side effects of treatment during and afterwards
  • Depending on the treated area, you can receive a small mark on your skin. This will also help your team position you during treatment and aim the radiation beam at the tumour.
    Also, a cast/mask will be made to immobilise you so that you do not move during radiation and it is more focussed. This could also could include utilising:

  • Foam sponges
  • Headrests
  • Plaster casts
  • Moulds

These items also help you stay in the same position throughout treatment.
This mask is made for the part that needs to be treated and immobilised.

Who does this radiation therapy?

The highly trained medical team will work together to deliver you the best care. This team includes the following health care professionals:

Radiation Oncologist: This doctor is an oncologist who specialises in providing radiation therapy to treat this deadly disease, cancer. Radiation oncologist oversees radiation therapy treatments. Closely they work with other team members to develop the specific treatment plan for you.

Radiation Oncology Nurse: This nurse specialises typically in caring for people receiving this radiation therapy. The radiation oncologist nurse generally plays leading roles, which include:

  • Enquires some specific questions during this treatment
  • Monitoring your health at the time of treatment
  • Helping you to manage all side effects of this treatment.

Medical radiation physicist

This expert assists in designing the treatment plans. They are skilled experts at utilising radiation equipment.

Technologist on Radiation Therapy

This professional operates the specific treatment machines typically & provides people with their scheduled proper treatment.

Other health care professionals

The additional team members care for emotional, social and physical needs during this radiation therapy. Which may include:

  • Dietitians or Nutritionists
  • Dentists
  • Rehabilitation therapists, like speech therapists or physical therapists.

With the help of this medical science, you can easily overcome this problem, and you need to take the medical guidance at the early stage and follow the guideline of your medical experts.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Dr. Aditi Aggarwal has worked in radiation oncology for ten years, treating patients with thoracic cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, bone and soft tissue cancer, gynecological cancer, breast cancer, and neurological cancers.

As a medical doctor, Dr. Aditi Aggarwal holds an MBBS degree from Lady Hardinge Medical College Delhi, a MD degree in radiation oncology from VMMC and Safdarjang Hospital Delhi, as well as a post-doctoral diploma in cancer research from Catalyst Clinical Sciences in Pune.

Cancer is usually classified into four stages, with stage 0 being the earliest stage and stage IV being the most advanced. The stage of a cancer is an important factor in determining the prognosis and the best treatment options. Here's a brief overview of the different stages of cancer:

Stage 0: This is the earliest stage of cancer, and it refers to cancer that is still in its original place and has not spread to other parts of the body. It is also known as carcinoma in situ.

Stage I: This stage means that the cancer is still small and has not spread to other parts of the body. It may be treatable with surgery or other local treatments.

Stage II: At this stage, the cancer is larger and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. It may be treated with surgery and/or radiation therapy, or other systemic treatments such as chemotherapy.

Stage III: This stage means that the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs and/or to distant lymph nodes. Treatment may involve a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and/or systemic treatments such as chemotherapy.

Stage IV: This is the most advanced stage of cancer, and it means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, bones, or brain. Treatment at this stage is typically palliative, meaning that it aims to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life, rather than cure the cancer.

It's important to note that the staging of cancer can vary between different types of cancer and different systems used to classify the stages. Your healthcare provider can give you more information specific to your situation.

There is no single vaccine that can prevent or cure all types of cancer. However, some vaccines can help prevent certain viral infections that can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which can help prevent HPV-related cancers such as cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancer.

Additionally, some cancers can be treated with a type of immunotherapy called cancer vaccines, which help stimulate the body's own immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. These vaccines are still in the experimental stage and are only available through clinical trials.

However, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cancer, such as eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco products, and getting regular cancer screenings. Your healthcare provider can give you more information on how to reduce your risk of cancer.

The symptoms of cancer can vary depending on the type and part of the body of cancer, as well as its stage. Some common symptoms of cancer include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain that does not go away
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Skin changes, such as yellowing or darkening
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • Persistent coughing or trouble breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent hoarseness or sore throat
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as bloating or abdominal pain
  • Menstrual changes in women
  • Persistent skin changes, such as yellowing or darkening
  • Changes in a wart or mole
  • Persistent headaches
  • Persistent bone or joint pain
  • Persistent fatigue or weakness
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting

It's important to keep in mind that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, and not all of them are present in all cases of cancer. If you are experiencing any symptoms that are new or persist for a long time, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the cause and get appropriate medical attention. Early detection and treatment of cancer can often lead to better outcomes.

Through us, you can schedule a Dr. Aditi Aggarwal priority appointment. Request a callback or dial 7982047515 to reach us.